College Planning & Management

JAN 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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Trends in Green SUS TAINABLE INNOVAT IONS ON C AMPUS Skidmore College Goes Geothermal Skidmore College receives honor for campus sustainability innovation. BY BOB KIMMER LE S KIDMORE COLLEGE IN SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, is committed to sustainability. Skidmore's intention is reflected in its Strategic Plan, which states that Skidmore will "develop, broaden, and deepen the College's connections to the local community; enhance our ability to function as a socially and environmentally responsible corporate citizen;" and "make the Skidmore campus an environmental laboratory, increase our emphasis on responsible planning for sustainable operation, and continue efforts to reduce the College's 'environmental footprint'." The College's commitment to sustainability has been noticed. Skidmore College received a 2012 Sustainability Leadership Award from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE, for its program to expand the use geothermal heating and cooling in campus buildings. Skidmore is one of four schools recently presented with an AASHE award in the new category of campus sustainability case studies, winning the honor in the grouping of four-year or graduate institutions with 10,000 or fewer full-time students. The other three winning schools in the 2012 awards program were Alfred State College in Alfred, NY (Net-Zero Energy Demonstration Home), Owens Community College in Perrysburg, OH (Harvest Project), and Canada's University of British Columbia (Implementing UBC's Climate Action Plan). The mission of AASHE is to help higher education lead the sustainability movement. The organization provides resources, professional development, and a network of support to enable colleges and universities to advance sustainability, from governance and operations to education and research. "As a growing number of sustainability activities take place on our campuses, we have expanded our awards program to recognize the diverse institutions and the diverse initiatives that advance sustainability," says Paul Rowland, executive director of AASHE. Heating Up Skidmore's Campus To implement geothermal heating and cooling, a form of renewable energy, Skidmore drills down to a depth of 400 to 500 ft., in order to tap the constant temperatures found deep in the earth. A sealed water-fi lled piping system runs through the holes, where the water picks up heat in the winter and brings it into the building to a heat pump. A heat pump then transfers the heat via a refrigerant into the air or water that is heating the structure. During warm weather, this process is reversed, with a heat pump taking heat out of the building. 74 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / JANUARY 2013 The College began using this system with the opening of its Northwoods Village residential apartments in 2006-07. A geothermal system was then installed for the renovation of Murray-Aikins Dining Hall (Note: The dining hall also benefits from the heat produced from cooking), followed by the Arthur Zankel Music Center, which opened its doors in 2009-10. These three buildings account for 16 percent of the total square footage of the College's campus. Building upon this success, Skidmore is working to add geothermal to its entire Arts Quad, which includes Filene Hall, Bernhard Theater, and the Saisselin Art Building, in addition to the already online Zankel Center. Rather than an individual system for each facility, the new approach will use a shared "district" system for greater efficiency. The district system has recently been implemented for Filene and Saisselin, with Bernhard Theater scheduled to come online later as funding becomes available, tentatively scheduled for spring 2014. The project to replace Scribner Village, an on-campus decadesold apartment-style residential facility, with new apartment buildings is currently under way, and the new units will also be entirely geothermally heated and cooled. In addition, Skidmore aims to implement geothermal systems to heat its Dance Center as part of a renovation project, dependent on funding. With the completion of these latest projects, approximately 36 percent of the campus building space will be heated and cooled using geothermal energy. With additional projects under discussion, the goal is to reach 50 percent by 2020. Outlining the Goals "Our goal is to lessen Skidmore's climate impact by using a renewable energy source and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions," says Riley Neugebauer, Skidmore's sustainability coordinator. Adds Paul Lundberg, capital projects supervisor in Facilities Services, "We also hope to improve the efficiency of our geothermal technology through new district systems, which are already in use in other parts of the world. We are one of the first in the Northeast to implement a district geothermal system." For more on Skidmore College's commitment to campus sustainability, visit online at CPM Bob Kimmerle is director of Community Relations for Skidmore College. He can be reached at 518/580-5744 or WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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